Harlem Nights

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Released 1989

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Movie Summary

Director:
Eddie Murphy
Released:
1989
Rating:
R

Harlem Nights is an irreverent period 1989 comedy crime drama written and directed by comedy superstar Eddie Murphy (Coming to America, Trading Places, Vampire in Brooklyn, Dreamgirls, The Golden Child, 48 Hours, Beverly Hills Cop). A nightclub led by Sugar Ray (Richard Pryor, The Toy, Superman III. Silver Streak) is doing too good in the eyes of a gangster. The gangster's night club is losing business. Spicy detail, Sugar Ray's club is only frequented by colored people, and the gangster's club only by whites. Helped by the police detective Phil Cantone( a great performance by Danny Aiello, Jacob's Ladder) the gangster is trying to make Sugar Ray go out of the business. Of course you feel sympathy for Sugar Ray and his nightclub gang, especially when you see detective Phil Cantone operating. Sugar Ray's adopted son Mr. Quick (Murphy) wants to fight his way out and suggests taking out the gangster. But Sugar Ray being the older and the wiser has a wittier plan to ruin the gangster.

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Metacritic Score

  • 50

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    People may go to see Eddie Murphy once, twice, three or even six times in disposable movies like Harlem Nights, but if he wants to realize his potential he needs to work with a bet...

  • 20

    The New York Times Vincent Canby

    Harlem Nights is not the disaster some people might have been expecting. Mr. Murphy has appeared in far worse films written and directed by people much more experienced.

  • 10

    Variety

    This blatantly excessive directorial debut for Eddie Murphy is overdone, too rarely funny and, worst of all, boring.

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    Themes

    Crime